Last summer, I ate at Girl and the Goat for my first time. As a first time diner there, I didn’t want to mess with their magical dishes and ordered from the limited selection of Vegetarian items on their menu. I loved the ambiance and energy of the restaurant and the flavors were out of this world. Mike even declared Girl & the Goat to be his favorite restaurant, but as fantastic as it was, I found the food to be uncomfortably heavy.
Mike really really wanted to go again, and his parents were also very eager to try the restaurant, so a few weeks back, I went again. This time, I requested a Vegan menu, and it made all the difference – the food seemed even more flavorful, and the heaviness was gone. Girl & The Goat, with it’s meat-heavy menu, is surprisingly a place for Stand-Out Vegan meals.
[Note: my camera actually broke right after I took the above picture (the lens wouldn’t close – thankfully an under-warranty repair!) so the remaining pictures in this post are from my iPhone]
When the restaurant called to confirm our reservation, Mike told them that one of us was a Vegan, so I was presented with my own personal Vegan menu as we were seated. It was short, but it was fantastic. While most of the dishes were simply versions of items from the regular menu with the non-vegan ingredients left out, the Chickpea Masala and Squash Empanadas were exclusive to the Vegan menu – so of course, I simply had to order these!
I started with an order of the Vegan Pan-Fried Shishito Peppers. Their regular version was a favorite of mine on my last visit, but it contained Parmesan cheese. I was curious whether the Vegan version would seem like something was missing. Verdict? Both versions are fantastic, though slightly different. While both dishes feature Sesame and Miso flavors, these tastes shine through in the Vegan version. The cheese in the regular version made the dish taste more familiarly like gourmet Jalapeno poppers.
Vegan Shishito Peppers Regular Shishito Peppers
Next up was the Vegan Chickpea Masala, my favorite dish of the night. I loved this so much that I seriously considered ordering another plate to-go for lunch the next day. I’d never tasted such a perfect blend of Indian and Latin American flavors before. Both cultures share the flavors of bright cilantro and tangy tomato sauces, but the Indian-style pickled onions combined with the salsa verde and corn masa (which reminds me of the yummy soggy corn tortillas in Chilaquiles) was pure perfection. I made sure everyone at the table got a bite, and they all agreed that this was a seriously tasty plate.
Next came the Hedgehog & Kabocha Squash Empanadas. These were also fantastic. The use of Avocado made for a creamy, decadent stuffing that no one would ever guess was Vegan. These also had a delicious hint of smoky flavor.
And I can’t forget to mention – we got the Empanadas for free! Much like a tapas restaurant, the menu at Girl & The Goat is all small plates that are typically shared and come out of the kitchen at various times throughout the meal. As the only person at the table that wasn’t eating the meat and seafood dishes, there was a very long gap after my peppers came out before I had anything else to eat. My Chickpea Masala and Empanadas were the very last items to come out of the kitchen – and they came out together. Without me ever drawing any attention to this inconsistency, our waiter apologized for the mistake and offered to take the Empanadas off of our bill. Now, that’s what I call great service!
For dessert, I exercised the “Flexi-” part of my “Flexi-Vegan” lifestyle and shared 3 desserts with the table. You know what, though? As good as the other desserts were, they really didn’t stand out to me. The (vegan) Sorbet, on the other hand, Knocked. My. Socks. Off. While it was Mike’s Dad that had thought to order the Sorbet, I was the one that ate about 75% of it. The Sorbet, crafted by Black Dog Gelato had a lovely texture, wasn’t too sweet, and tasted like real fruit at its finest. The Pear Sorbet, for example, had generous chunks of actual Pear in it. Thankfully, I don’t have to wait months for another reservation at Girl & The Goat to get some more of this perfect Sorbet – Black Dog Gelato also has two stores in town!
Overall, while it’s a very short list, the Girl & The Goat’s Vegan options are not to be missed!
I’d love to hear from you!
What’s your favorite Sorbet Flavor?
Your favorite Summertime Dessert?